It’s been a stop-start to the 2011/12 season for Rio Ferdinand due to injury but as he told United Review and ManUtd.com, the long-serving defender is still thrilled with the way the Reds have opened the campaign...
How high is the squad's confidence after a perfect start in the league?
I don’t think it could be much higher, although nobody’s getting carried away. A lot of us have been around long enough to know a good start doesn’t guarantee you anything. I think we caught Arsenal and Tottenham at good times, so that knowledge helps us to keep our feet on the ground. That said, we’ve obviously been happy with our form. Things are looking good and we’re enjoying playing football.
What’s been the key to this great opening spell?
It’s hard to put your finger on it. The freshening up of the squad has certainly helped. We lost a few players at the end of last season and there was a lot of pressure on the team to cope with those losses. People were asking if the players that were left here were good enough or if the players we signed were good enough… But the young lads and the new signings have come into the team and stepped up to the mark and done the job.
On a personal level, have you been frustrated with your own start?
Yeah, I have. Pre-season went so well for me. Every time we trained I was there and I didn’t have any trouble with injuries. Things felt really good, but then in the first league game of the season I picked up a little hamstring niggle, which was really frustrating because I’ve been doing everything I can off the field to ensure I’m fit.
The introduction of youth this season couldn’t have gone much smoother…
That’s right. The young lads have been terrific, but our good start owes as much to some of the other players as it does them. Look at Anderson, for instance. He’s been here four years, he had his first proper pre-season and he’s started brilliantly. Wayne’s obviously started like a house on fire, Chicharito banged in two goals in his first start… These players, the ones who already know their way around the Premier League, have been just as important.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have impressed. How highly do you rate